Information on Aromatherapy
Essential oils have been used since at least 4500 BC. The Egyptians used them to create perfumes and medicines and the priests used them in the embalming process. The Egyptions also linked perfumery to religion, assigning a particular fragrance to each of their deities. The Greek, Arab and Roman physicians preserved this ancient knowledge and even as recently as the 18th century, essential oils were used in medicines. However by the 19th century many of these extracts could be produced synthetically and it was a cheaper and easier process than obtaining these substances from plants and because of this the use of natural medicines began to decline. Until the 1920's when French Chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse’, discovered the healing properties of lavender oil. This encouraged him to investigate the antiseptic properties of essential oils and in 1937 he published the first modern book on aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils and hydrosols to promote personal health. Essential oils are produced by tiny glands in the petals, leaves, fruit, seeds, nuts, roots, stems, bark and wood of many plants and trees. These oils in nature are usually released slowly, but when heated or crushed the oil glands burst thereby releasing the plant’s aroma more strongly. To extract pure essential oil a distillation process is used. Combining the sciences of chemistry, physiology and botany with the art of essential oil blending is believed to help achieve physical, mental and emotional balance and harmony. The oils can be used either by inhalation or applying them directly to the affected area. The basis of aromatherapy is the connection between the body and mind and the powerful effect that the botanical remedies have on human health.